Saturday 21 May 2016

4 better things to do in Koh Phangan that aren't Full Moon Party

Koh Phangan was the weirdest place. On the couple of days leading up to the infamous full moon party, the island was super busy, the hostels were all booked up and the vibe was generally buzzing. But within a day or so after, this place is DEAD. I ended up in a hostel in an 8 bed dorm, on my OWN! The whole island emptied, including my friends Sheree & Sinead, and I was left feeling really lonely yet again. I spent a total of 5 nights on Koh Phangan which was too long for me. I kinda based my brief plan of action around full moon, which happens once a month. I so could have done without it. Honestly, there's MUCH better parties on this island! I'll share my thoughts below...

Where to stay?

Lazy House Shenanigans
I personally LOVED this hostel. We had an unlucky situation with the original hostel we booked, where it had "closed down" when we arrived, but CBA to go into that. Anyway, in the end we were glad as the new hostel had a great vibe, a sick garden and bar, pool parties and a BBQ every night - so we were more than happy. We paid around £18 each per night for a 14 bed dorm, which anywhere else in Thailand would be ridiculously expensive, but unfortunately this is the minimum you'll pay to stay around the week of FMP. A lot of hostels have a minimum 5 night booking too, which is annoying.

This hostel is in a pretty good location. It's a few minutes walk from both beaches either side of Haad Rin bay, which is where the FMP is based. However it's a taxi/scooter ride away from the main town, which means its pretty quiet in the day time. There's no need to stay near Haad Rin just for the party, since you can taxi anywhere on the island for so cheap anyway. The hostel also made a BOOM pad thai and massaman curry, which I ate twice daily for 4 days on the trot. SO GOOD, and only 100baht/£2. I miss you cheap food.

The Magic Wave
I can imagine this is a really good hostel to stay in when it's busy. But typically, poor Lucy ends up on her own. I was in a huge 8 person dorm on my own - it had marble floors, a huge kingsize bed, an ensuite and great aircon - I was living like a queen and I had no one to enjoy it with! I can't explain how weird it felt that the island just completely emptied after the full moon. There was barely anyone else staying in the hostel so I didn't meet anyone except for two girls who were leaving the next day. However it had a great pool, was a 1 minute walk from the beach, has games/activities in the garden, a nice bar, plus the decor was really cool. It was really cheap too, I think I paid about £5 a night.

What's good in Koh Phangan?

For the most famous Thai island, there wasn't as much going on as I expected from Koh Phangan. I'll share my faves though...

After spending all of about 10 minutes walking through the full moon party, we knew it wasn't for us. After a few weeks travelling around Thailand I had heard this mysterious "Eden" party was the place to be, which happened to be on the same night as full moon, as it takes place on a Tuesday and Saturday. This place was hands down one of the coolest places i've ever partied! Based in a hut-turned-club on the side of the rocks, on a beach which can only be reached by what can only be described as a pirate ship, I had one of the funniest nights of my life in this place! Thank god I had Sheree with me to make me laugh as always, as well as some American guys, one of which just had me in stitches all night. He looked like a cartoon character or like he should play the lead character in a film. His stories made me die! Then a guy popped up who I swear was just talking literal jibberish, like a real life Sim or something - I was so confused but Sheree seemed to get him, and that made me die of laughter even more. Then a Peter Andre lookalike came into our life, and I thought I was done. I have never laughed so hard in my LIFE. THEN Sheree got electrocuted by a light, and that finished me off. I'm cracking up just thinking about that moment! (sorry Sheree-ree.) Anyway, Eden is a must! Honestly the FMP music was so bad - David Guetta/Aviici crap. Go to Eden if you like good house music!

Amsterdam Bar
The name kinda speaks for itself here... this bar was SO cool! Based on a mountain side, with the best view of the sunset ever. The vibes were perfect - there's a lush pool and cushions everywhere, everyone just chats and chills and gets high.

Water World
I wouldn't really call this place a water world, but it was a lot of fun! Luckily we got free tickets through our hostel, otherwise it's £20 for the day which I probably wouldn't have paid myself. It was basically a load of inflatables thrown in the sea (funner than it sounds) and some other activities including zorbing, a massive slide and trampoline bungees. It was nice to be in and out of the water all day since it was SO hot.

Jungle Party
This party beat the full moon party hands down! It had a really similar vibe to some of the stages in the woods at Secret Garden Party festival (my favourite ever) - dark jungle vibes with trippy lighting and artwork everywhere. The music was really good and we had a great little team of party peeps.

That's pretty much it for my Koh Phangan recommendations - I hope this has been helpful, and i'll see you in my next post for more Thailand travel diaries :)

Lucy xoxo
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